Sworn Law Enforcement Officers (LEO) experience a lot of stress and trauma due to the nature of the work. Like everyone, they are also susceptible to issues not directly related to work but affecting the desired performance expectation at work.
Des Plaines Police Department has spearheaded this effort to connect LEO with Peer Support Officers and vetted mental health professionals across the nation. The grand vision of the product is to serve as a one stop shopping place for LEO to obtain varied treatment options, educational material, external sources, real time interaction with advisors and peers, share survival stories, access lifestyle information, retreat information and much more.
Peer Support Group is the first stop for Officers to seek advice and counseling from someone they trust in a judgement free zone. Those that opt to talk to a Peer Support Person benefit tremendously.
But most often the Peer Support Program is under utilized due to fears of rumors spreading within the department which makes Officers a little hesitant to seek help.
To help solve that problem & to beat the "beauty-shop mentality" commonly found at the departments, WeNeverWalkAlone connects the Peer Support Groups from across the nation. So, no Officer will ever have to think twice before calling a PSP. With this online portal, anonymity increases and Officers can call the PSP from anywhere and at anytime. Officers are in control with WeNeverWalkAlone.
Additionally, WeNeverWalkAlone portal provides a directory of mental health professionals/counselors and a ton of resources that has been carefully compiled for Law Enforcement Community.
Highlights of the network:
Every Officer in the department gets his/her own sign-in credentials to access the resources
100% anonymous - we do not track who signs in or how many times someone signs in or which PSP is called
Because we do not track anything, we cannot quantify the usage. It's up to the department Chiefs to ask their department Peer Support Group if they received any calls
Every department that joins the network is required to bring 7% to 10% of its size to the Peer Support Officers pool. Example: If the department size is 50, then we require that the department contribute 4 to 5 TRAINED peer support officers to the network.
Badge of Life, the national leader in mental health & suicide prevention training for LEOs, and Ms. Vickie Poklop MS, LPC from Des Plaines PD, IL, will be vetting the mental health professionals listed on the platform. WeNeverWalkAlone and Badge of Life adhere to the American Psychological Associations (APA) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct in all our endeavors.
The mental health professionals have extensive experience working specifically with Police Officers and are fully committed to helping the community at anytime.
Articles, news items, research papers, treatment options, etc., for the wholistic wellbeing of Law Enforcement Officers are provided on topics related but not limited to the following:
Family focused counseling
Therapy - EMDR, Talk, Reiki, Hypno-, Exposure, substance abuse, etc.,
Work Related Stress Triggers
Supplemental non-traditional resources
Interactive blogs* and
more.to come as we grow...
This endeavor is a pioneering effort and a first of its kind in the nation. It serves as a model for similar endeavors that follow. It is modern, engaging, relevant, beautiful, user friendly and highly efficient.